Exceptional Classical Ballet training since 1956
The Lake Erie Ballet Academy of Dance
Offering classes to students ages two and a half and older – providing a consistent curriculum in classical ballet. The Lake Erie Ballet’s classes are conducted with the National Dance Education Organization standards, while maintaining a focus on classical ballet. Throughout the program, students are provided with consistent programming in classical ballet coupled with the alternative disciplines of Jazz, Contemporary and Tap techniques with the best professionals in the field. Each year the Lake Erie Ballet affords it’s student body and companies the opportunity to work and study with artists currently producing work in the field of dance.
Executive & Artistic Director
Karen Gibbons-Brown’s resume contains an impressive list of credentials. She began her early training in Columbia, South Carolina under Ann Brodie, Naomi Calvert and Adolphina Suarez-More. Her early training and performing included ballet as well as modern, jazz, tap and theater dance. She continued her studies at American Ballet Theatre with Maria Swoboda, Michael Lland, Patricia Wilde and Leon Danelian and studied on scholarship at David Howard School of Ballet. Her professional experiences also include South Carolina Chamber Dance Ensemble, Ballet Celeste, Bristol Ballet and the Theatre Ballet of San Francisco where she recreated Anna Pavlova’s roles The California Poppy and The Dragonfly. Other performing highlights include performances at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, the title role in Cinderella, The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Coppelia, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and “Spring Waters” pas de deux, an exciting display of partnering created by the great Russian choreographer Asaf Messerer. Ms. Gibbons-Brown considers herself fortunate to have had works created especially for her including solos, Pentimento by Jill Eathorne Barr and the role of Anna in Richard Monroe’s work, The Hussar. Throughout her career, she has made numerous guest appearances throughout the United States. Ms. Gibbons-Brown is known for her work in the classroom and enjoys teaching a variety of dance related subjects including ballet, pointe, repertoire, terminology, dance history, pedagogue and makeup and hair for stage as well as restaging major classical works. She has often been invited to teach guest classes and workshops including in Sicily, Italy, Fontenay le Fleury, France and the prestigious Joffrey San Antonio Workshop under the directorship of her mentor Jeremy Blanton. She received her certification in Labanotation while serving on the faculty of Virginia Intermont College under the direction of Constance Hardinge and served as Ballet Mistress for John McFall as he created his production of The Nutcracker for Atlanta Ballet. In 1985, Ms. Gibbons-Brown founded the Kingsport Guild of Ballet and became Artistic Director of the State of Franklin Dance Alliance at its inception in 1988. Other dance administrative duties include serving on the Tennessee Association Board of Directors in many capacities including as president and serving on the Performing Arts Panel for the Tennessee Arts Commission. She assumed directorship of Fort Wayne Ballet in August of 1998. Other career highlights include Outstanding Dance Artist Award in 1997, serving as a juror for Concours International de Danse Classique in Paris, France in 2000, a 2002 graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne and being listed in Who’s Who in the 21st Century. In 2010, a new book authored by renowned choreographer Dean Speer, entitled On Technique, identifies Ms. Gibbons-Brown as among the world’s 18 most respected ballet masters, pedagogues and artistic directors. Her other full time job is spending time with her husband, Jim, and children Watson, Madison, Hannah, Zachary, Raleigh and a sundry of dogs.
Oiginally from Australia, Darren McIntyre is a graduate of The Australian Ballet School where he was the recipient of The Dame Peggy Van Praagh Award for Choreography, The Sir Robert Helpmann Bursary, The Young Australian of The Year Arts Award & was a Bronze Medalist at the Society of Dance Awards Australia. Darren was selected to represent Australia at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland and invited to represent The USA at The 4th International Ballet Festival of South America in Colombia.
Mr. McIntyre has toured extensively throughout the United States, Australia, Asia, Canada, Europe and South America, performing a wide range of both classical and contemporary works as a freelance artist and with such companies as Louisville Ballet; Northwest Florida Ballet; City Ballet of San Diego; Milwaukee Ballet; Ajkun Ballet Theatre; The Landestheater Detmold in Germany; The National Ballet of Ireland; and The Australian Ballet.
This has expanded his repertory to include the title roles in all the traditional repertory ballets & has also seen him featured in works by Anthony Tudor, Christopher Fleming, David Dawson, Edwaard Liang, George Balanchine, James Sutherland, Jessica Lang, Mark Godden, Michael Fokine, Michael Pink, Nacho Duato, Robert Curran, Salvatore Aiello, Stanton Welch, Stephen Mills, Val Caniparoli, to name a few.
As a Choreographer and Répétiteur, He has created and re-staged over 25 original innovative and traditional repertory works including acclaimed original full-length ballet productions of “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Phantom of the Opera”. Mr. McIntyre has also held the positions of Artistic Director, Montgomery Ballet; Interim Artistic Director, Lake Erie Ballet; Columnist with DANCEtrain Magazine; Founder/Artistic Director of The Marianne McIntyre Memorial International Ballet Scholarship; and Casting Agent at DManagement International Dance Agency. Mr. McIntyre has been recognized by the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) as an Artist of Extraordinary Ability.
Mr. McIntyre has taught over 3,000 young dancers world-wide. His ability to nurture and inspire young dancers has brought him to the best dance academies, companies, and scholarship programs in the world. In addition, His summer dance program “Performing in America” has attracted over 400 dancers, world-wide, each summer. Mr. McIntyre is excited to be joining Fort Wayne Ballet this season in numerous capacities.